Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Aronofsky not doing Wolverine anymore

Extremely bad news for those who are looking forward to the hopeful redemption of the Wolverine movie franchise under director Darren Aronofsky. It seems that the Black Swan director will not be around to direct the next Wolverine movie anymore.

Deadline has heard that his withdrawal has to do with his breakup with actress Rachel Weisz, and custody issues involving their son. All but two weeks of the film will be shot in Japan (a few scenes are being shot in Canada). His withdrawal had nothing to do with the script, because I'm told that Chris McQuarrie delivered. Or even the current crisis in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami. Aronofsky simply couldn't be out of the country that long. There hadn't been a firm start date. There was once an intention to start in the spring, but the situation in Japan and Hugh Jackman's Real Steel promotional schedule pushed things back a bit.

Aronofsky released this statement:
"As I talked more about the film with my collaborators at Fox, it became clear that the production of ‘The Wolverine’ would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time. I am sad that I won't be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again."

Twentieth Century Fox also issued this statement:
“While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do ‘The Wolverine’, we also understand and respect his reasons. Having done both ‘The Wrestler’ and ‘Black Swan’ with Darren, we know he is an extraordinary talent and we look forward to working with him on other projects in the future. Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making ‘The Wolverine’. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”

Many fans including myself were looking forward to Arronofsky's style (appropriately) applied to the brooding mood of Wolverine universe. It should be noted that the previous movie X-men Origins: Wolverine which starred Hugh Jackman was a very unfaithful interpretation of the Wolverine comicbook character, and is considered by most critics as one of the worse comicbook/superhero movies ever made, second only to Joel Schumacher's "Batman and Robin"

In addition, this take on Wolverine was immensely watered down to please a more kid-friendly audience. In the comics, Wolverine has a more violent nature, and is simply a ruthless unflinching killer.

Aronofsky's history of extremely dark and depressing movies such as "The Wrestler" and the classic "Requiem for a Dream" is a perfect fit for the actual story/history of Wolverine, a Marvel comics character who, in the actual comic book references, has actually had experienced countless traumatic tragedies in his life.

It is tragically funny to note that Aronofsky's career with movies in production purgatory is such that he has teased on big genre projects, only to be dis-attached to them at the last minute. Years ago, before Chris Nolan was chosen to direct Batman Begins, it was Aronofsky who was initially picked to revive the once-dead Batman franchise. Just a couple of years ago, he was also attached to the planned Robocop sequel/franchise relaunch but that did not push through. Now, maybe production with Aronofsky should have begun this season. But now, we are left to dream of a better director to redeem the Wolverine film franchise from its current awful image.

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